Operation Zero Tolerance: Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson Gears Up for Biggest Fight Yet Against Japanese Whaling
– Common Dreams staff
Captain Paul Watson is gearing up for Sea Shepherd’s biggest fight yet against Japanese whaling in the Antarctic, despite a second “red notice” being issued by Interpol for the oceans defender.
Paul Watson: “We humans are killing our oceans, we are diminishing bio-diversity, we are over heating the planet, we are pouring poisons into the sea and air. I cannot accept that meekly and I know with absolute certainty that if we kill the oceans, we kill ourselves.” (photo: Gert Steenssens via Flickr) Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s Operation Zero Tolerance campaign this year will be the ninth year the marine conservation group has fought to stop Japan’s killing of whales in the Southern Ocean, with this year set to be the biggest campaign yet, the group says.
Sea Shepherd founder Watson has written that what Japan says are “research” whaling operations are “nothing more than a mask for commercial operations,” violating a moratorium on whaling set by the International Whaling Commission.
“The Japanese whalers are sorely mistaken if they think another ‘red notice’ is going to stand in the way of Sea Shepherd’s defense of the whales this season,” said Susan Hartland, Administrative Director of Sea Shepherd. “It will in no way impact Sea Shepherd’s next Antarctic campaign, Operation Zero Tolerance, whose goal it is to send the whaling fleet home with zero kills.”
Telling Australia’s Fairfax Media of his determination of the mission, Watson, who remains in a secret location, said, “We aim to stop them completely this time. They will be so financially in the hole that they can’t climb out.”
“I believe that saving the lives of a thousand whales must take priority over playing courtroom games with Japan and Costa Rica,” he added. “You don’t win a battle by playing by the rules of the opposition.”
In an interview with a Sea Shepherd crewmember posted on the group’s website, Watson remarks that he is “not a fugitive from justice” and says that all the attention from charges he faces from Japan and Costa Rica have brought more support to the campaign.
Asked if he fears consequences of being captured, he says:
All of my life I have been afraid of only one thing and that is of doing nothing. I have never been able to fathom the idea of accepting the way things are. We humans are killing our oceans, we are diminishing bio-diversity, we are over heating the planet, we are pouring poisons into the sea and air. I cannot accept that meekly and I know with absolute certainty that if we kill the oceans, we kill ourselves. If the oceans die, we die and the oceans are dying in our time. My greatest fear is that people simply accept that fact.
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In a TED talk delivered in 2010, Watson described Sea Shepherd’s fight to save marine life and said the whales “are our clients. They are who we represent.”